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Frames of Reference

Published 1960
Topics physics, science, PSSC

This PSSC film utilizes a fascinating set consisting of a rotating table and furniture occupying surprisingly unpredictable spots within the viewing area. The fine cinematography by Abraham Morochnik, and funny narration by University of Toronto professors Donald Ivey and Patterson Hume is a wonderful example of the fun a creative team of filmmakers can have with a subject that other, less imaginative types might find pedestrian.

Run time 26 min.
Producer Richard Leacock
Production Company Education Development Center, Inc.
Sponsor Eric Prestamon
Audio/Visual sound, black and white


Reviewer: leacevedo - - April 12, 2012
Subject: Small correction
Hello, I just want to point to a detail in this movie Frames Of Reference that may create confusion. There is a part where one of the characters states that the motion of the Earth relative to the Sun produces even smaller fictitious effects than the motion of the planet around its axis. This is partially true because, even though these fictitious effects are smaller in the first case, they are in fact none, that is, they do not generate, because the earth is in a state of free fall with respect to the Sun. In a free fall state no fictitious effects arise.
Reviewer: aswegohomestead - - August 3, 2011
Subject: Very Interesting Film
I found this film extremely interesting and the information well presented. Very nice quality audio and video both.
Reviewer: Dr Bill - - July 24, 2010
Subject: Why I became a physicist
I first saw this film by Hume and Ivey in my PSSC Physics class in 1962. It was certainly a seminal moment, and likely the tipping point which flipped my future career from architecture to Physics.
After a BS in Physics, MS and PhD in Biophyics, and 35 years in industrial and government research, I have not forgotten this great work. Now teaching physics, I have spent the last a 5 years searching for a source of this wonderful film. Thank you Internet archive.
Reviewer: Aquaboogie - - April 11, 2010
Subject: Awesome
Our physics teacher showed us this in the early 90s (presumably he first saw it when he was a student in the 60s). At the time the biggest impact was the somewhat strained deliver of the line "I don't know about you, but I'm dizzy". The callowness of youth, etc.

Watching it now, however, I have a much better understanding at what Drs Hume and Ivey were getting at. Good work!
Reviewer: bcrowell - - May 16, 2009
Subject: thanks!
Thanks for making this classic video available! I use it every semester in my physics classes at a community college in California. I'm working on producing a version with DVD chapter marks, and possibly closed captions (which we're under legal pressure to include on all audiovisual materials).
Reviewer: GuiAero - - October 11, 2008
Subject: Excellent
The PSSC works are simly unique. Precious pieces of knowledge and culture they remain unmatched to this day.

Thanks ever so much for taking the time to digitalise and make available these classic videos.
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